Controversial women's rights bills pass Senate committee

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - A Senate committee has approved two controversial bills dealing with women's reproductive rights.

The Personhood bill that would define life as starting at conception passed 8-7 along party lines, but only after an amendment restricting the use of federally approved contraception. The bill now goes to the full Senate for a vote.

The scene grew raucous At least three times, with several outbursts from opponents of the bill.

The committee also approved a bill requiring pre-abortion external ultrasound exams. The ultrasound bill was amended to eliminate transvaginal ultrasounds, which require an invasive ultrasound probe.

The amendment came after Governor McDonnell dropped his support of requiring an invasive ultrasound before having an abortion Wednesday saying, "no person should be directed to undergo an invasive procedure by the state."

The idea of a mandated "transvaginal" ultrasound prior to abortion stirred up a lot of controversy, from silent protests to late-night television.

Additionally, a bill that would eliminate the requirement for vaccination against HPV for female children passed the committee 8-7.

The earliest the bills can be voted on in the Senate is Friday. If they pass the full Senate, the Governor can sign it into law.

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